Rice exports up nearly 18 percent in H1 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnam earned 1.71 billion USD from exporting nearly 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the first half of this year, up 17.9 percent in value and 4.4 percent in volume year-on-year.

In June alone, 409,000 tonnes of rice worth 207 million USD was shipped abroad, according to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Agrotrade) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Philippines was the top buyer between January and May, importing 1.3 million tonnes of Vietnamese rice worth 598.6 million USD, or 40 percent of total rice exports, up 23 percent in volume and 42 percent in value from a year earlier.

During the first five months, markets to which the value of rice exports enjoyed the strongest year-on-year growth were Senegal (18.3-fold), Indonesia (2.9-fold), and China (2.3-fold).

Meanwhile, rice export prices increased 13 percent from the same period last year to average 485 USD per tonne.

Agrotrade said the rice sector now has even more opportunities under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), recently ratified by the National Assembly and set to take effect in August.

Under the agreement’s terms, the EU pledges to provide an annual rice quota of 80,000 tonnes to Vietnam and completely liberalise trade in broken rice. After three to five years, tariffs on rice products will be slashed to zero percent./.